Space Crash, Update

February 12th, 2009 1 comment

Space Crash! Google Earth PluginBecause you can never have too many ways to see the same thing. This is a browser based version of my satellite visualization from ealier today. Showing the February 10th coming together of US and Russian communication satellites, Iridium 33 and Cosmos 2251 over Siberia

Same idea as before, plots the locations of the two objects in the minutes leading up to the collision, but this one runs inside the Google Earth Plugin.

Read more…

When two satellites collide, in Google Earth

February 12th, 2009 No comments

Satellites Colliding in Google Earth

Satellites Colliding in Google Earth

This is a quick Google Earth timeline animation of the recent satellite collision between the Russian Cosmos 2251 and the US iridium 33.

Update 2009-02-14: Two ways to view this now.
– A Google Earth browser plug-in version
– Or the original KML file for regular Google Earth below

Cosmos 2251 and Iridium 33 Collide

Use the time slider at the top of the screen to play the file back. The animation tracks the objects during the 6 minutes leading up to impact. Also included are the orbital paths (ground tracks) of the two objects between 16:00 and 17:00 GMT on February 10th.

Location data is based on the orbital elements for the two satellites, from Celestrak.

Visualizing Twitter Activity Inside the Google Earth Plugin

February 9th, 2009 No comments

Twitter, Google Earth PluginHere’s a browser based version of the (Feb 2009) UK Snowstorm Twitter activity, animated inside the Google Earth Plugin.

This mashes up 3800 Tweets over the course of a week. Users posting their location and the amount of snowfall they were seeing on a scale of 0 to 10. You can see how Twittersphere activity peaks on Monday February 2nd, the day the country ground to a halt. With sporadic outbursts every day over the following week.

Embedded, below the fold.
Read more…

Google Earth 5, World Time Zone Clock – Javascript and KML

February 5th, 2009 19 comments

World Time Zone Clock in Google Earth 5

World Time Zone Clock in Google Earth 5

Here’s a KML and Javascript(!) hack for the new Google Earth 5.

It overlays a time zone map and allows you to click anywhere on the globe to see a running clock with the current time for that location.

Grab the KML file here:

World Clock

This uses normal KML to display a balloon when a polygon is clicked. Each balloon description has its own bit of Javascript to automatically calculate and display the time for the associated time zone.

More Info
In addition to running javascript, this hooks into a couple of other implementation changes in the new GE 5.

  • Polygons are now directly clickable. Previously you had to click on them in combination with a key press to make their description bubbles appear.
  • Stylemap highlight styles are triggered by mouseovers on polygons and lines instead of just placemark icons.

The polygons in this file are drawn from Valery‘s KML Timezone map, posted on the Keyhole BBS a few years ago.

#uksnow Twitter Animation – Google Earth 5

February 3rd, 2009 8 comments

A much more significant event than the release of Google Earth 5.0 yesterday was the fact the much of Britain (particularly S. England) was covered by a sprinkling of snow. 😉

As a knock-on of this there’s been a large amount of media buzz about the use of Twitter as a mob-sourced geo-mashup generator to show snowfall.

Twitter users have been posting the first half of their postcode, plus the amount of snow in their location. 0 = no snow, 10 = bucket loads. ie: “#uksnow W12 9/10”

Developers have been mashing-up that data. Check out Ben Marsh’s neat, live Google Map mashup of this: #uksnow Tweets

Google Earth 5.0, Twitter uksnow

#uksnow Twitter Animation, Google Earth 5

Now that the flurry (sorry) of activity has died down, I’ve trawled the Twitter API for the past few days of #uksnow hash tags (2200 so far) and put them into a KML time animation tailored to run in Google Earth 5:

#uksnow Tweet Timeline (40kB)

Download the kml file, and use the time slider at the top left of the screen to play it back.

Couple of new techy things to notice if you have the new Google Earth version.

  • I’ve used the KML gx:TimeSpan element in my Document level lookAt so that by default the time slider displays one hours worth of Tweets. Notice how GE flys back in time after the KML loads.
  • The icons expanding and contracting during playback is a built-in feature of the new version of GE.